Back in the days, people looked down on fanfic writers (for example, Anne Rice once thought fanfics were the source of all evil in the creative writing realm). Okay, maybe some still do today. Heck, even the fanfic writers would sometimes look down on themselves. Those around the fanfic writers (usually parents) think that for each fanfic chapter they write they are giving up a portion of the money that they could have realized through publishing an original novel. However, just like the days when videos and DVD suddenly became outdated and everything turned digital, the landscape and perception of fanfic writing would suddenly change too one day. In fact, I see that it is beginning to change.
For example, an AFF (Asian Fanfics) writer was able to publish her first novel, True Beauty, at the age of 17. Initially, she, like most teenage girls, started writing a fanfic about her beloved oppas (EXO in this case). Then after receiving much positive comments regarding the first ten chapters of the fanfic, she decided to go back and edit the entire story (changing names and some story backgrounds) and went ahead to publish it. Right now, she still kept those original ten chapters up on the AFF website so that readers can have a HUGE sneak peak on the story and decide rather to purchase the book.
That’s a smart idea to market her novel. However, this is not a very new idea because I know there are some markets out there that are already a step ahead. For example, the Chinese market:
There are some Chinese fanfic and original novel websites (such as jjwxc.net) that provide innovative platforms for writers to market their stories. Most of these writers have started out with fanfic writing. However, as they mature as writers, they feel confident enough to publish their own original novels. This platform (the picture above) is great because it allows readers to read some chapters for free before deciding if it is worth it to buy the novel. It gives the readers a sense of safety that they don’t need to buy the entire novel. Instead, they may choose to buy one chapter at a time. So, if at any point they decided to drop the story, they won’t feel as if they have wasted their money for not finishing the rest of the story. This protects the writers as well because they still get some compensation for their creative work so as long as the readers decide to purchase at least one chapter. Finally, once the writers completed their story, they may choose to publish the story in an actual book format.
At the end of the day — YAY for technology!